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iPad: Computer for a new "casual user" market? Redefining "personal computing"?


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iPad: Computer for a new "casual user" market? Redefining "personal computing"?
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ezkcdude
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2010-01-27, 17:13

If you ask people what they actually do with their computers, I bet the top three are:

1. Browse internet/e-mail
2. Watch movies
3. Light administrative work

The iPad will do all three, plus serve as an awesome eReader with fantastic battery life. Apple placed it brilliantly between the iPhone and iMac/MacBook. If you already have a smartphone and laptop, you probably won't be in the market for this. But pretty much everyone else is potentially a buyer of this, especially at $499. There's really no argument I can see against it. I always said if it was priced right and could do even a modicum of real work, it would be a winner. (I think I said that.) Jobs delivered this time.
 
Luca
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2010-01-27, 17:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugge View Post
+1

It's not what this thing can't do, it what it can do. The iPad is just as unable to replace the PC/Mac as the netbooks. But for it's intended purposes it's way better than lugging a notebook/netbook along.
What is its intended purpose?

It can't be "typing stuff" because it's no better than a netbook for that. If you want to type things I think the cheapest full-size notebook or netbook with a full-size keyboard would be the best option.

I guess it's a mobile internet device, but so is the iPod Touch, which is basically the same thing but smaller and cheaper. But the iPod Touch is really just a toy like Wrao said.

It looks kind of fun but I'm not sure what it's actually useful for. Then again, I guess that's all the internet is for. And who am I to talk... I love my computer, which is a desktop running Windows and connected to the internet via a wired ethernet connection. I have no use for wireless anything.
 
hmurchison
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2010-01-27, 17:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
What is its intended purpose?

It can't be "typing stuff" because it's no better than a netbook for that. If you want to type things I think the cheapest full-size notebook or netbook with a full-size keyboard would be the best option.

I guess it's a mobile internet device, but so is the iPod Touch, which is basically the same thing but smaller and cheaper. But the iPod Touch is really just a toy like Wrao said.

It looks kind of fun but I'm not sure what it's actually useful for. Then again, I guess that's all the internet is for. And who am I to talk... I love my computer, which is a desktop running Windows and connected to the internet via a wired ethernet connection. I have no use for wireless anything.
Typing is the most basic of input modality and the iPad does do that. But what happens when you want to manipulate photos on a Netbook? There's were you see the limitation of its form factor. It's just a small PC so you're still stuck mousing around to move data.

A Touch/iPhone is fine for extreme portability but you don't get the type of Calendar views that most of us with a hectic schedule want. You don't get the mail management view that we need to handle the deluge of email that comes in daily. There's no substitute for physical real estate when it comes to some apps. If you need to see a lot of data through a single pane then a larger screen is a must.

Tablet's aren't for everyone but removing the keyboard for a tablet is just as liberating as removing the qwerty chiclets on a phone. It puts your data in the largest view possible ..not the input method.

omgwtfbbq
 
709
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2010-01-27, 19:11

After percolating on this a bit, I've decided the iPad is genius.

It's a MomPad, nay, a GrandmaPad. All these fucking people that thought they were left out in the cold with the next big thing (iPhone) are going to snap this shit up in record numbers.

We need to think about this thing in exactly the opposite way as we expected. It doesn't do any new shit at all. The iWork port is a ruse to make it seem more "professional."

It's not. It's a home tablet, made for people that think Apple is cool and can't afford it. It's a fucking trojan horse for the middle class.

Us techies, us aficionados, will continue to scream all week about the iPad's limitations. In the meantime, thousands and thousands of people are going to order this damn thing, because it's seemingly "perfect" for what they do.

Honestly, I could never buy one as is, because as it is right now it's broken. No camera, no input, no...well, Finder, or equivalent. There's no way in hell I want to be locked into an iTunes-type interface as my connection to the machine, and that's essentially what it is.

That said, it's a beautiful kit. I just wish it was smarter.

Geranium lover, I'm live on your wire.
 
Chinney
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2010-01-27, 19:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao View Post
So... basically, this device is a toy. It is not designed for doing work or being productive [...]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
100% agree with you! I was thinking of throwing in a couple sentences in my post about how you can't really do any work on it, as opposed to a netbook, but I wasn't sure how to say it. [...]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argento View Post
I don't get this at all. It doesn't seem practical for 99% the population. Do any of you know people who would look at this and say "that's what I need?" I agree [...] this is a big (and pretty worthless) toy.

I could maybe see some universities buying these for people to give lectures with when they're pretty mobile but even that seems like a stretch. Plus, if you have an iPhone (or any smart phone) and already pay out the ass for your data plan would you really want to tack on another 30 bucks a month for unlimited data?
The main criticism I have seen so far is the one above: that the iPad is not really a productivity tool. It fits uncomfortably between an iPhone/BlackBerry, on one hand, and a computer on the other. Smartphones are productivity tools because they allow you to keep in contact with the office/school, read and send e-mails, even read Word documents (if you have to), all the while you easily carry it on the go. And computers are obviously productivity tools. But the iPad is too big to be the sort of thing a person-on the-go carries around for business or other practical reasons (why would you, if the smartphone can already do so much?) and is not capable enough for any real computer functions (you would probably not want to type out a long memo on it, if you could avoid it). The criticism is that this is "mostly just a media device".

I think that this criticism is partly true, but misses the point. Media plays a big role in our lives, and there may well be a market - a big market - for a media device just like this. Also, I think that the criticism fundamentally underestimates just where this device could go, including more into productivity (I think that a fair assessment recognizes that it already has some productivity ability). The iPhone has gone into all sorts of weird and wonderful directions that maybe even Apple themselves did not expect once they opened it up to external App development. It revolutionized what the smart-phone could do (even for non-Apple smartphones that came after). Further software (and hardware) developments have and will continue to solidify that effect. The same thing may happen with the iPad. As was pointed out in some of the discussion leading to the iPad release, most of our personal computers soon could look more like the iPad (in a future advanced version), than our current desktops and laptops.

Personally, I think that the chances of this device not suceeding - and in a big way - are pretty low. My guess is that Apple has hit another home run.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
 
pscates2.0
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2010-01-27, 19:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
After percolating on this a bit, I've decided the iPad is genius.

It's a MomPad, nay, a GrandmaPad. All these fucking people that thought they were left out in the cold with the next big thing (iPhone) are going to snap this shit up in record numbers.

We need to think about this thing in exactly the opposite way as we expected. It doesn't do any new shit at all. The iWork port is a ruse to make it seem more "professional."

It's not. It's a home tablet, made for people that think Apple is cool and can't afford it. It's a fucking trojan horse for the middle class.

Us techies, us aficionados, will continue to scream all week about the iPad's limitations. In the meantime, thousands and thousands of people are going to order this damn thing, because it's seemingly "perfect" for what they do.

Honestly, I could never buy one as is, because as it is right now it's broken. No camera, no input, no...well, Finder, or equivalent. There's no way in hell I want to be locked into an iTunes-type interface as my connection to the machine, and that's essentially what it is.

That said, it's a beautiful kit. I just wish it was smarter.
Exactly. You, Dorian Gray and some others get it. I think it's gonna be huge.
 
feidhlim1986
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2010-01-27, 19:28

It's gonna be the Wii of the Mac World.
 
Wrao
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2010-01-27, 19:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
It's gonna be the Wii of the Mac World.
Don't think so. The Wii succeeded for two reasons. 1) it was a lot cheaper than the alternatives. 2) it introduced a substantially different method of user interface, and in effect almost became a different device entirely from 'just a game system'.

Compared to the iPad and you have a product that is not cheaper than its cousins(iPod Touch, iPhone, as well as a host of netbooks) and that doesn't really introduce any new or novel features that might offset that and give it standalone appeal.
 
feidhlim1986
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2010-01-27, 20:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao View Post
Don't think so. The Wii succeeded for two reasons. 1) it was a lot cheaper than the alternatives. 2) it introduced a substantially different method of user interface, and in effect almost became a different device entirely from 'just a game system'.

Compared to the iPad and you have a product that is not cheaper than its cousins(iPod Touch, iPhone, as well as a host of netbooks) and that doesn't really introduce any new or novel features that might offset that and give it standalone appeal.
I was comparing that the iPad will be very much a casual market product I think. I could see my mom, aunts, uncles, grandparents being able to use and love the iPad over your tradition Laptop or Netbook. The iPhone / iPod Touch is too small I think for that demographic, at least for my visually impaired mom Just like a huge market of Wii owners are people who never bought a gaming system before, moms, grandparents, and other middle aged people who would never have bought a games console bought the Wii, and I think the same kinda demographic will also buy the iPad over a tradition Laptop.
 
pscates2.0
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2010-01-27, 20:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satchmo View Post
For those who have been waiting to see if this tablet would be an alternative to buying a MB/MBP, has today's iPad convinced you one way or the other?

I mean it's essentially half the price of the MacBook. Does it do more than 50% of what a laptop could do? Debatable, but it boils down to what your usage.
And it always does. That's why some of the freaking-out and blanket statements going on (here and elsewhere) don't really hold much water. One man's simple media/communication tablet is another's tricked-out 17" MacBook Pro.

Different strokes, people.

This thing stands to be quite a hit, especially when viewed through the eyes of the non-tech/non-geek crowd. Which, naturally, isn't all that represented at a site like this. All the things many here dislike about it won't even register on the radar of so many others. So while we tend to get into the weeds about various specs, numbers, OS limitations, etc., the fact is, it's everything tons of consumers could ever want, or need, in such a product.

Those who are the most genuinely, deeply disappointed and bothered probably had iffy, unreasonable expectations to begin with (this was never going to be a keyboard-less MacBook Pro, running full OS X). But I'd rather this device come spec'd as-is and cost what it does, than to try to appeal to the more hardcore type and wind up costing a grand or so. Because if someone's looking to spend $999 or more, Apple has many fine offerings for that kind of money (that do so much more than this tablet ever could).

*shrug*
 
Wrao
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2010-01-27, 20:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
I was comparing that the iPad will be very much a casual market product I think. I could see my mom, aunts, uncles, grandparents being able to use and love the iPad over your tradition Laptop or Netbook. The iPhone / iPod Touch is too small I think for that demographic, at least for my visually impaired mom Just like a huge market of Wii owners are people who never bought a gaming system before, moms, grandparents, and other middle aged people who would never have bought a games console bought the Wii, and I think the same kinda demographic will also buy the iPad over a tradition Laptop.
This is possible. I agree. There was a post earlier talking about how well it would suit the role of 'computer for the whole family' (including young kids). Thinking about it in those terms, it does seem somewhat more possible, it also starts to bend my mind a little bit to consider just how deeply high-tech has embedded itself into our lives.
 
torifile
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2010-01-27, 20:22

If you think about it, it's a perfect kitchen computer. With its gorgeous and big screen it'll be perfect for reading recipes off of. The company that comes up with a good recipe program for it will make a killing. Pair it with an iPhone grocery app and they would be unstoppable. It's too bad I don't program.
 
Chinney
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2010-01-27, 20:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
And it always does. That's why some of the freaking-out and blanket statements going on (here and elsewhere) don't really hold much water. One man's simple media/communication tablet is another's tricked-out 17" MacBook Pro.

Different strokes, people.

This thing stands to be quite a hit, especially when viewed through the eyes of the non-tech/non-geek crowd. Which, naturally, isn't all that represented at a site like this. All the things many here dislike about it won't even register on the radar of so many others. So while we tend to get into the weeds about various specs, numbers, OS limitations, etc., the fact is, it's everything tons of consumers could ever want, or need, in such a product.

Those who are the most genuinely, deeply disappointed and bothered probably had iffy, unreasonable expectations to begin with (this was never going to be a keyboard-less MacBook Pro, running full OS X). But I'd rather this device come spec'd as-is and cost what it does, than to try to appeal to the more hardcore type and wind up costing a grand or so. Because if someone's looking to spend $999 or more, Apple has many fine offerings for that kind of money (that do so much more than this tablet ever could).

*shrug*
No need to shrug, actually. There a quite a few even on this forum who agree that this looks great, and will be huge.
 
709
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Join Date: May 2004
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2010-01-27, 21:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escher View Post
The iPad is not going to replace my iMac for photo-editing and other heavier tasks. The iPad will not replace my subnotebook in terms of working at random hotels while on the road. The iPad will not replace my BlackBerry to stay in touch when I'm running through airports or sitting on a train.

However, the iPad will allow me to take my personal life on the road (or on the couch) with me: web-surfing, personal e-mail, sharing photos, and reading electronic documents.
This. This, this and this.

The iPad is a personal computer. Maybe the first ever, by definition.
 
BuonRotto
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2010-01-27, 23:12

I think the iPad may be a lightning rod, a highly polemical statement that's going to create a lot of serious disdain from the computing world.

As someone else here said, it's arguably the first truly "personal" computer (though a bit more security would be good ). It's also a true "consumer" computer device. While Macs create content, the i* products are almost strictly about consuming content. So we now have a clear delineation of them (well, it was true before, but the iPad makes it more salient) and we have the first personal size media consumer device/appliance. It's not so much between the iPhone and the MacBook as it is between the iPhone and the TV.

It is of course more interactive than a TV, and I don't think Apple is (yet) interested in TVs, not until they're more interactive/multimedia social devices. I can see that eventually coming down the pipe if all this content on TV and internet can be married. I think that hurdle is going to be the hardest for Apple, which doesn't quite seem to know how to really take advantage of social media or create it.
 
pscates2.0
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2010-01-28, 08:12

I do think it's interesting - and quite telling - how the acceptance lines break down by user types.

Many of the hardcore geek/tech types aren't impressed at all, and want no part of it. Yet every "regular Joe" user I know (who doesn't hang put at Mac/tech forums, or sweat the specs and details of every little thing) have sent me e-mails talking about how they can't wait to order one (a few of them PC/Windows users). But they also all fall into that category I've talked about all along of the casual user who only surfs, e-mails and does the music/photo thing.

Talk about a device that is right up their alley...they couldn't be more thrilled and interested. 11 people I know have e-mailed me about this since yesterday afternoon. Four were local. Seven are PC users. Eight have only one computer, a desktop. About half of those have, over the past year, talked about getting a laptop or "cheap netbook". Now they all want this.

I thought that was pretty cool and interesting to hear. And there are way more of those kind of users and people out there, so I think Apple has another hit on their hands, despite the lukewarm (or outright hostile, in places) reaction from the geekster/techie community.

Aunt Glenda's money is just as green as any hipster spec-hound's. Apple will be thrilled to receive it.



in fact, I think Apple has created the Switcher or "toe-in-the-water" machine here (even more so than the Mac mini), and will be getting a lot of brand new, first-time customers throughout 2010. That might've been part of it all as well...get some folks hooked on $499 iCrack?


Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2010-01-28 at 08:28.
 
Jason
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2010-01-28, 11:18

I think a lot of bad press will come from geeks that somehow thought this was going to be more of a computer than an oversized iPod Touch.

My own take on this thing is that it is really a consumer toy. It is aimed squarely at the teen generation who want to be able to couch surf. Folks who want be able to keep one eye on the tv watching 'X Factor' and the other checking their facebook and Twitter.
It's not a computer - it doesn't even have file system access.

It's the perfect toy for the 'ten second attention span' of the Internet generation.

It will sell by the millions.
 
zippy
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2010-01-28, 11:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
It's not a computer - it doesn't even have file system access.
I know this is a popular sentiment around here, but I disagree with it. If applications for computers could have effectively managed files for us from the very beginning then we never would have had need for direct file management/access. Stripping that component away really makes operating a computer much easier.

Think about iTunes. Would the iPod really have been as useable by so many people if you had to manually organize your music, and then get into the file system to select and synch items? I don't think so. Personally, I don't give a rip where or how iTunes organizes my songs, I just want a nice interface for finding/synching/playing them.

I think the future of computers - at least for the average user - is a future without file system access/management. And I don't think that's a bad thing.

Do you know where children get all of their energy? - They suck it right out of their parents!
 
pscates2.0
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2010-01-28, 11:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy View Post
Agreed.

You know how most of us here say that the Mac mini is really as much computer as the average person needs? I think we can now say that about the iPad - almost.

I think it needs some kind of iLife style goodness and then I think that I could honestly say that this thing would be the device of choice for the typical 'dumb' user. Aunt Tildy, grandma, grandpa, junior..... It does just about everything they tend to do with a computer: surf, email, write basic documents, store photos/music, etc..
True. And some of those people don't even use computers enough to have hard-wired expectations or habits, or never really got the hang of a mouse. And they don't touch-type anyway, to begin with. So they really don't have a ton of stuff to "unlearn" or adapt to like some of us.

If you're coming into this a bit raw and new, with only some light dabbling in computers (but it never really took and you where too intimidated to buy one for yourself, for home), what could be more natural and inviting than this iPad? You use your fingers (no left-click/right-click confusion or learning), if you don't know how to type (or you're not a super-fast touch typist), then the onscreen keyboard is going to be no harder, or no worse, than any physical keyboard you've ever used. If you do the "hunt-and-peck" method of typing, you can do that here...you're not being "slowed down" by some virtual, software keyboard like some of us might feel. If you're not that much of a typist to start with, what does it matter? If it takes you 1-2 minutes to poke out a two-sentence e-mail, that's better than nothing, or being left out of this type of communication if everyone else around you is staying in touch that way. Right?

So, yeah. Think about it from the point of view of those users...the iPad is a godsend!

"I don't have to buy a keyboard and mouse, learn to use them, I don't have to hook a bunch of stuff up, etc."

It could very easily make a wonderful "training wheels" computer for those in that situation, sure. If you're 65+ and never really messed with computers, what's going to feel more comfortable and "workable" for you? Moving things around naturally with your hands and fingers...or learning how to type (and trying to memorize a bunch of keyboard shortcuts) and which side of the mouse to click, and when to do so?




Exactly.

If my grandpa was still alive, this would be the exact kind of thing I'd get for him. This and an AirPort Express. He'd be set! He was into WWII (and his time there in the Army), classic cars and trucks, travel, he always followed the news and weather, he followed auto racing, he loved country music, etc. He would've had a blast with Safari, Maps and iTunes (and whatever third-party apps fit the bill), especially being that easy and natural to use.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2010-01-28 at 11:47.
 
BuonRotto
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2010-01-28, 11:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
I think a lot of bad press will come from geeks that somehow thought this was going to be more of a computer than an oversized iPod Touch.

My own take on this thing is that it is really a consumer toy. It is aimed squarely at the teen generation who want to be able to couch surf. Folks who want be able to keep one eye on the tv watching 'X Factor' and the other checking their facebook and Twitter.
It's not a computer - it doesn't even have file system access.

It's the perfect toy for the 'ten second attention span' of the Internet generation.

It will sell by the millions.
Bitter much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy View Post
I know this is a popular sentiment around here, but I disagree with it. If applications for computers could have effectively managed files for us from the very beginning then we never would have had need for direct file management/access. Stripping that component away really makes operating a computer much easier.

Think about iTunes. Would the iPod really have been as useable by so many people if you had to manually organize your music, and then get into the file system to select and synch items? I don't think so. Personally, I don't give a rip where or how iTunes organizes my songs, I just want a nice interface for finding/synching/playing them.

I think the future of computers - at least for the average user - is a future without file system access/management. And I don't think that's a bad thing.

Excellent point, and I completely agree. I think there will always be access available for those who want it, but even Macs in the future will deemphasize the Finder and Apple and non-Apple apps will handle file management. It is precisely because of iTunes (automatic organization) and the clickwheel (fast access) that made the iPod a hit.

However, I do understand the confusion over this by some, especially on Macs and why Apple wants to avoid making a "tablet Mac". iPhoto is to this day being second-guessed as a photo management app, not because it lack robust tools of pro apps but because people keep thinking they have to go back and organize photos in the Finder *as well as* organize them in iPhoto. This is why Apple eventually locked people out of the iPhoto library, but it is still a source of frustration. It's like even having a Finder actually exacerbates the problem.

Access to files in this and future products will be is through indexing and metadata, not manual folder and file management.
 
Kickaha
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2010-01-28, 11:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
I think a lot of bad press will come from geeks that somehow thought this was going to be more of a computer than an oversized iPod Touch.

My own take on this thing is that it is really a consumer toy. It is aimed squarely at the teen generation who want to be able to couch surf. Folks who want be able to keep one eye on the tv watching 'X Factor' and the other checking their facebook and Twitter.
It's not a computer - it doesn't even have file system access.

It's the perfect toy for the 'ten second attention span' of the Internet generation.

It will sell by the millions.
Ayup.

zippy's take on this is correct - browsable filesystems exist, really, because the computers have been too damned dumb to handle the organization for us. Tags *really* change this for many users, allowing them to add metadata willy nilly in the same way they used folders as an organizational system. (Folders *are* metadata - a strictly hierarchical metadata.)

I think the iPad is a *fantastic* consumer product. I don't agree with the 'toy' moniker - 'appliance' would be a better term, IMO. In fact, I foresee that within 10 years, we'll have kind of a split in the computer market. There will be iPad-style UIs and apps, for the average consumer, and traditional full on OSs for the geeks and pros. The former market is, you might notice, a hell of a lot larger than the latter. And right now Apple is the only company seriously going for the former - everyone else is trying to shove the traditional model into a different form factor, without recognizing that it's not the physical *size* that keeps people away, it's the *experience*.

Frankly, I'm 99% sure I'm getting one for my Dad. He inevitably gets frustrated with his computer (yup, it's a Mac) and after a few months is tired of 'losing his files' and so on, and just gives up using it. This? This he could use, I bet, and actually enjoy it. And I think a lot of other people could too.

The real question is... how useful is this as a *stand alone* device? Is there a way of backing up info without a Mac or PC? Provide that, and this is a done deal of a sale. (Hmm - back up to Time Capsule?)

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
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Iago
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2010-01-28, 12:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
Point being...take some time...let the dust settle...don't be so quick to judge what may not be apparent now. Stop thinking of the iPad as a computer. It is not.
I see that iPad isn't being positioned as a typical computer, but I'm still sceptical of it. It just feels like something is missing; some killer app to make me go "of course!" The iPhone unveiling had those moments in spades. I just can't get over how outdated the springboard looks. To me that's the worst aspect. I'd expect to have limited multi-tasking, widgets running on a springboard substitute and for the device to be considerably lighter, given that Apple has been working on a tablet device for, uh, nearly a decade.

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Brad
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2010-01-28, 12:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy View Post
I think the future of computers - at least for the average user - is a future without file system access/management. And I don't think that's a bad thing.
Exactly, but getting people to understand this will probably be a lengthy battle. Ask any user why they think they need a hierarchical, user-managed filesystem and almost invariably what you'll get is a description of accessing files in a manner that doesn't really necessitate a visible filesystem hierarchy.

I actually had exactly this discussion yesterday with a coworker who was upset about iPad's lack of visible filesystem. When pressed to answer why, he gave examples like "I want to save all the different files for a project in the same folder" and "I want to put things I've worked on today in the same folder". When you look at those requirements and don't assume a visible filesystem, though, the problem can easily and much more intuitively be solved using something like smart folders, creation/access metadata, and arbitrary tagging. You can almost get exactly that today in the current Finder.

We really take for granted that we've all taught ourselves how to manually wrestle folders and files, but that's a skill that really isn't necessary when you look at the real problems that manual file management is trying to solve. I think it'll take some really revolutionary products and devices to break the micromanaging mindset. Apple's making a good start at that with iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPhoto, and probably a few others I'm forgetting, but there's still a long way to go.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
 
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2010-01-28, 13:06

It won't be the Wii of the computer world, because the Wii got to where it was through gimmicks, marketing and PRICE PRICE PRICE --- the iPad is actually more expensive than its competition (netbooks or low-end notebooks). I think it will be the iPod of the computer world, which is much more significant.

In some ways, the iPad is Apple's first mass market computer. We've all described how Macs are all somewhat upmarket, but that's not even what I'm talking about here. Apple knows that they are fighting an extremely uphill battle, against Windows. They'll never convince average Joes to buy Macs in quite the same numbers as iPods or iPhones. Windows is what they know.

That's why I thought it was so significant when Jobs tipped his hand by saying he was pleased that 75 million people already knew how to use the iPad. As far as touchscreens, Apple is what they know. Apple has home-field advantage. And while we may balk about how the iPad isn't "magical," to the average person, seeing a webpage just fill their hands like that sort of...would be.

While I was typing this message, my netbook hibernated due to low battery life. I had to wait for it to finish shutting down just so I could turn it back on, and then I had to wait for it to turn back on, and then when I turned it back on I got a pop-up window informing me that my battery was low, now that I had plugged it back in. (It always does this.) Then I had to close several "helpful" popup balloons, and then HP's "Internet Connection Center" popped up (I have no idea why), and then Microsoft's "Wireless Network Control Panel" window popped up...I think I might have clicked that popup balloon in the wrong place. So then I close all of those, and then I get to work.

We might think the iPad is "too simple," but to the average user, who never understood why it's just assumed that computers should be complex? They'll love it.

This is going to be huge.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
 
zippy
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Unknown
 
2010-01-28, 13:11

Kickaha used the word that I've been using with people when I talk to them about the future of UI and computers: appliance. That's what the iPad really is, except that it is plural. It does one thing at a time, and it does that one thing really really well. When you want it to be something else, jump back the the home screen and pick what you want it do next. The key with appliances is that we don't really care, or need to care how it does what it does on the back end, we just need the easy to use controls on the front end. The possibilities are immense.

When you want an 'appliance' to write a letter, open Pages. When you want an 'appliance' to listen to music, open iTunes. And if Apple can rewrite these apps to function this well, what's stopping other vendors from doing the same thing?

Get some TV and stereo components that can take command via Wi-Fi and this thing could be the most amazing universal remote control ever.

Hell, extend that to other appliances in the house. Imagine an oven with a built in camera and Wi-Fi controls. You chould check the pot-roast from the living room and adjust the temperature.

You could monitor security cameras or baby monitors on a decent sized display. You could control the lights remotely, set the DVR, and on and on.


I don't agree with anyone who says this thing isn't a computer. In fact, I think the iPad helps makes computers to be even more 'all that they can be'.

Do you know where children get all of their energy? - They suck it right out of their parents!
 
screensaver400
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2010-01-28, 13:27

I was watching Pirates of Silicon Valley the other day, and it spends some time on the transition from the Altair to the Apple II. The Altair was for geeks only, but the Apple II was a computer for the average person. It was a breakthrough product.

I think the iPad could be similar. As others have said, it changes the computer from a computer, with all its disadvantages to, as others have said, an appliance. Something that just works, in the way that a television or radio does.

This is the change from a complex machine that requires significant skill to operate, to a simple machine that anyone can operate fully after just a few minutes. Nearly all tasks can be learned without instruction.

This could be huge.

To me, the big question is printing. Can I print to my networked printer over Wi-Fi? I hope so.
 
RyanPaige
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
 
2010-01-28, 14:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao View Post
Maybe there actually is something to the notion that the iPad just simply isn't 'for' us, at all. It's for our parents, or our young children, or basically anyone who is 'new' to technology, or otherwise uninterested in tech and only interested in what it can do for them. Maybe it is going to be the Wii of the computing world... (I know I said otherwise in this thread, but as I've been thinking about it...)
I'm not at all new to technology and I'm certainly not a young child, but I am really only interested in what technology does for me, and from what I've seen of the iPad so far, it looks like something I would have a lot of use for.

I can see using it as a web browser/reading device around the house - in the living room when my wife is watching some awful reality show that she's addicted to or in the bedroom when she's trying to go to sleep and I am not ready to go to sleep.

I can see using it as a web/reading device while waiting for/sitting on the train.

I can see using it as a media device - in the car when we're driving to see the relatives (I have gone through more than one portable DVD player solely to keep the kids entertained. An iPad could replace that), or at my relative's house (we stayed at my Dad's house over Christmas and he didn't even have a TV in the guest room. What kind of crazy person doesn't have a TV in the guest room?)

I can see playing games on it (my wife has an iPod Touch, and I think 95% of the apps she's downloaded are various games).

I could see watching dailies or reading scripts on it (productivity!)

And if I spent some time thinking about it, I'm sure I could come up with a lot more places/instances I could see using it, but just from those few things alone, it's already worth the price to me. Sure, I have a MacBook Pro, but for a lot of uses, I could see it not being as easy or comfortable to use as the iPad would be.

And I can certainly see my Dad or his wife using it (some of the non-tech people you mention). Over Christmas, I tried to show her how to put pictures from her camera onto her (Windows) laptop. There were just too many steps involved, she couldn't do it. But she uses her iPhone all the time with no problem. For her, an iPad is probably a very useful device, but I don't think she's the only potential market for the thing.
 
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2010-01-28, 15:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
Why did I say the iPad is not a computer? I'm simply taking cues from Apple. AFAICT, they do not refer to it *ever* as a computer. And that's not by accident. It is a device. When Paul said "people don't get it", I think what they don't get right now is precisely this. If you see the iPad as a "computer", you don't get it.
I think it's a computer. It computes, ergo, computer. Seriously, how is it not a computer? It hits all the computery notes. It does most people's computery things. It's just not a "traditional" computer, as we know them today.

I've been saying this for years. Future generations will see how we all called one big box "the computer" and they'll think that's hopelessly quaint, like "Radio Shack" and "electric snaps." In the future, everything will want to compute, just like everything wants to connect to the Internet. The Internet is this century's electric grid -- why wouldn't everything want to plug into it?

It's a computer. It's just not a "PC." It's post-PC.

EDIT: I sure hope the iPad browser lets you scroll through text fields easier.
 
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2010-01-28, 15:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
In the future, everything will want to compute, just like everything wants to connect to the Internet. The Internet is this century's electric grid -- why wouldn't everything want to plug into it?

It's a computer. It's just not a "PC." It's post-PC.
QFT.

Quote:
EDIT: I sure hope the iPad browser lets you scroll through text fields easier.
Indeed.
 
zippy
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Unknown
 
2010-01-28, 15:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
I think it's a computer. It computes, ergo, computer. Seriously, how is it not a computer? It hits all the computery notes. It does most people's computery things. It's just not a "traditional" computer, as we know them today.

I've been saying this for years. Future generations will see how we all called one big box "the computer" and they'll think that's hopelessly quaint, like "Radio Shack" and "electric snaps." In the future, everything will want to compute, just like everything wants to connect to the Internet. The Internet is this century's electric grid -- why wouldn't everything want to plug into it?

It's a computer. It's just not a "PC." It's post-PC.

EDIT: I sure hope the iPad browser lets you scroll through text fields easier.
Agree.

In fact, this:
is way more computer than it is phone.
 
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